The original standard Homing or Narc Pod is effectively a SRM whose explosive warhead has been replaced with a 20cm diameter homing beacon, mounted behind a magnetic head, which broadcasts a signal across nearly the entire electromagnetic spectrum except for visible light; originally the pod did include strobe lights powerful enough to mark a target even in broad daylight, but before mass production began this feature was removed because it also served to warn the target they were being tracked. SRMs and LRMs whose guidance systems have been modified can home in on this signal, resulting in improved accuracy. The Narc system is superior to the similar Artemis IV FCS in that the target lock is never broken because the homing beacon is attached to the target, and that other friendly 'Mechs can fire SRMs and LRMs equipped to follow the signal without carrying their own Narc beacons.
The original homing pod did have one drawback though, in that it's range was half that of LRMs. This required either for a spotter to mark the target or for the mounting unit to get dangerously close to launch the beacon before attempting to fall back. When ComStar developed the iNarch launcher, they created a larger homing beacon which had half again the range of the original and produced a more powerful signal. Because it was larger though, this improved beacon could be removed by enemy units equipped with arms.
Narc homing pods can be fired once per turn as a normal SRM attack, if successful the pod attaches and any following turn any friendly 'Mechs using Narc-signal compatible missiles receive add +2 to missile hit table rolls.
iNarc homing pods offer the standard +2 on the missile roll table as well as a -1 to hit roll, however the larger size of the iNarc Homing pods allows them to "brushed off" in the same manner as swarming anti-'Mech infantry attack, breaking the link.
Both systems are incompatible with the Artemis IV FCS, Streak Missile System, and all specialty LRM and SRMs types such as Swarm and Thunder missiles. Missiles equipped to use the Narc homing signal are double the normal cost per ton.
- Era Report: 2750, p. 100, "NARC Missile Beacon"
- BattleTech Master Rules, p. 133, "Missile Launchers"
- Technical Readout: 2750, p. 11, "NARC Missile Beacon"
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 150, "Homing Pods"